Fraud is defined as an offence which includes deceptive behaviour that is carried out by a person or an organisation for financial gain, to the detriment of another person or organisation. This is carried out without the victim’s knowledge or by convincing them to unwittingly hand over their information, so that it can be wrongfully used for criminal activity or causing financial loss and other detrimental impact. It is one of the most common crimes carried out in the UK, costing millions of pounds every year. Advances in information technology, the establishment of the internet and the digitalisation of daily activities such as shopping and banking has resulted in a continuous growth in fraudulent activity, especially identity theft. Identity theft is carried out on a daily basis and accounts for over 60% of all reported cases of fraud here in the UK.
What is identity theft?
Identity theft is when a person or organisation will take the victim’s personal information and use it without their knowledge or permission. Fraudsters will try to steal the victim’s name, address, passport number, national insurance number and bank details. This information is then used to carry out criminal activity or financial transactions, causing the victim to suffer legal implications and monetary loss.
If you are sharing your personal information over the telephone, on a form or over the internet, it is important that you make sure that you know who you are dealing with. Over the phone, if you are going to give your personal details, especially in security questions, then it is important that you know that you can trust the caller. If you are sharing your information online then you need to make sure that the website is credible and trustworthy. Do not respond to unexpected messages asking for any personal details and if in doubt then you can always refuse to share your details at the time.
Other ways of making sure that you’re not a victim of fraud is by checking your bank accounts regularly for unusual activity. Online banking allows you to check your accounts as regularly as you would like to, however, it is important to make sure that you log out of applications safely and securely, especially where you are sharing devices with other people. If you notice any transactions which are unfamiliar or you receive bills or correspondence for purchases that you have not authorised then you need to contact the bank. If the bank is unable to help you immediately then you need to speak to a fraud solicitor before the situation is able to escalate. If you find yourself in an emergency situation then it is important that you call the police as well.
Fraud cases can be complicated and time-consuming, involving plenty of paperwork and the collation of evidence. It is important that you involve a fraud solicitor from the outset to help to deal with the paperwork and legalities on your behalf. A specialist fraud solicitor will have experience in dealing with all types of fraud, from personal cases to high profile crimes. Find yourself a leading fraud solicitor today who can help you achieve a positive outcome and minimise the complications for you, as soon as possible.